California to close beaches; quarterly results reveal pressure

The torrent of major corporate earnings results continued Thursday, with McDonald’s, CNBC parent Comcast, Twitter and Kraft Heinz among the many companies reporting before the opening bell on Wall Street. Sales and profits have taken a beating for most corporations in the first quarter of 2020 as the initial effects of the pandemic began to drastically change American consumer habits. Read on for more on how companies are dealing with the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 3.2 million
  • Global deaths: At least 227,971
  • US cases: More than 1 million
  • US deaths: At least 60,999

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:01 am: How states are reopening businesses and lifting coronavirus restrictions 

Across the country, states have shut down businesses and ordered people to work from home if they can and stay indoors as much as possible to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, with cases beginning to level off, states are looking to jump-start economies hit hard by the virus. Millions of Americans who have been put out of work by lockdown efforts are also eager to get back in the workforce. 

Governors have taken different tactics in developing plans to loosen stay-at-home orders, each taking different paths in removing social-distancing restrictions. States in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast have formed coalitions to usher in a regional recovery. Other states have faced criticism for already allowing nonessential businesses to resume in-person operations. Some governors have yet to release any sort of reopening plan.

Here is a rundown of how every state in the U.S. has responded to Covid-19 in terms of lifting restrictions on citizens and businesses. This list will be updated each day with new developments. —Hannah Miller 

8:53 am: New cases reported daily by region

8:50 am: How Mercedes-Benz reopened an Alabama auto plant 

Mercedes-Benz reopened its U.S. plant this week in Alabama, becoming one of the first manufacturers to resume operations since the coronavirus pandemic halted auto production across the country last month.

Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said it took “robust and best practice safety measures” to ensure that the reopening of the plant was safe for its 4,200 workers who produce the Mercedes-Benz GLE, GL and GLE Coupe SUVs.

New protocols to reduce the spread of the virus include the mandatory wearing of face masks, temperature checks at entry and separation of employees in break rooms, cafes and common areas.

Only one of the plant’s three shifts of workers was initially called back Monday as the plant ramps up production and the safety measures are implemented. —Michael Wayland 

8:42 am: US weekly jobless claims hit 3.84 million, topping 30 million over the last 6 weeks 

First-time filings for unemployment insurance hit 3.84 million last week as the wave of economic pain continues, though the worst appears to be in the past.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 3.5 million.

Jobless claims for the week ended April 25 came in at the lowest level since March 21 but bring the rolling six-week total to 30.3 million as part of the worst employment crisis in U.S. history. Claims hit a record 6.87 million for the week of March 28 and have declined each week since then. 

The surge in unemployment has come amid efforts to contain the coronavirus spread. While some states and municipalities have begun to bring their respective economies back online, much of the key U.S. infrastructure remains locked down. —Jeff Cox

8:31 am: The latest on US hot spots

8:30 am: Energy demand is set to see record drop this year

The International Energy Agency said it expects global energy demand to plunge this year in what the Paris-based agency called the biggest drop since World War II. 

With roughly 4.2 billion people around the world subject to some form of lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the IEA is forecasting a 6% decline in energy demand for the year. In absolute terms this is the largest on record. Percentage wise, it’s the steepest decline in 70 years.

The demand hit from the pandemic is expected to be seven times greater than the decline in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008.

“In absolute terms, the decline is unprecedented — the equivalent of losing the entire energy demand of India, the world’s third largest energy consumer,” the agency’s Global Energy Report said. —Pippa Stevens

8:22 am: Macy’s plans to have all stores reopened in 6 weeks

8:18 am: Gov. Newsom expected to close all California beaches

Thousands of beach-goers enjoy a warm, sunny day at the beach amid state-mandated stay-at-home and social distancing mandate to stave off the coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach, CA, on April 25, 2020.

Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles | Getty Images

The California Police Chiefs Association told members in an email Wednesday that Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce Thursday that all beaches would be closed as of Friday to prevent the kind of crowding seen over the weekend, when warm weather prompted thousands to flock to the Orange County coastline.

State parks are also expected to be closed.

The email, which appeared to include a memo, was confirmed to NBC News by two law enforcement sources. —NBC News

8:09 am: Quarterly results reveal pressure

A handful of quarterly reports from major U.S. companies revealed pressured resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s who offered updates Thursday morning.  

—Sara Salinas

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.

7:08 am: Prada has gradually resumed production, will use antibody tests

Victor Sokolowicz | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Italy’s Prada said it had gradually resujmed production in several sites across Italy after almost two months of lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The fashion company said it had reopened its industrial sites in Tuscany on April 20 and those in the central regions of Umbria, Marche and the northern region of Veneto — one of the hardest-hit areas — after that.

It said some workshops in its Milan headquarters were also back at work. The group said it implemented a full range of security measures for its staff, including a double-screening method for staff and the use of antibody tests. —Reuters

7:01 am: UK researchers should know by July if vaccine is effective

Live samples in test tubes are held in a container Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, on April 22, 2020.

Andrew Milligan | WPA Pool | Getty Images

The U.K. will know by July whether its Covid-19 vaccine is effective, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said.

The company said it has partnered with Oxford University to help develop and distribute the vaccine being researched by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca would be responsible for the worldwide manufacturing and supply of Oxford’s vaccine, which entered phase one clinical trials last week.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told BBC Radio 4′s “Today” show that the company would know within months whether the coronavirus vaccine was effective.

“By June, July we will already have a very good idea of the direction of travel in terms of its potential efficacy,” he said. —Chloe Taylor

5:44 am: Japan is preparing to extend emergency for about a month

Japan is preparing to extend its state of emergency for about a month, government sources told Reuters. It was originally set to end next Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament he will consult infectious disease experts on whether to extend the emergency, which he declared on April 7 for seven prefectures including Tokyo. The meeting will take place on Friday, the economy minister said. —Holly Ellyatt

5:32 am: Spain’s daily death toll falls to lowest in nearly six weeks

A nurse and a firefighter talking are seen in the Villalba General Hospital on April 05, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

David Benito

The number of new coronavirus-related deaths in Spain fell to 268, its health ministry said, marking the lowest tally in nearly six weeks, Reuters reported.

The total number of deaths rose to 24,543 on Thursday, up from 24,275 on the previous day, the ministry said. The total number of cases in Spain now stands at 213,435, up 1,309 from the previous day. —Holly Ellyatt

5:15 am: Sweden had no lockdown but the economic damage could be just as bad

People walk at Strandvagen in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – Sweden, which has stayed open for business with a softer approach to curbing the COVID-19 spread than most of Europe, on March 27, 2020 limited gatherings to 50 people, down from 500.

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

Sweden has attracted global attention for not imposing a full lockdown, as seen in most of Europe, to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, data released from the country’s central bank and a leading Swedish think tank show that the economy will be just as badly hit as its European neighbors.

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, gave two possible scenarios for the economic outlook in 2020 that “depend on how long the spread of infection continues and on how long the restrictions implemented to slow it down are in place.” Both possible scenarios are bleak.

In the first scenario, gross domestic product contracts by 6.9% in 2020 before rebounding to grow by 4.6% in 2021. In the more negative prediction, GDP could contract by 9.7% and a recovery could be slower with the economy growing 1.7% in 2021.

In both predictions, unemployment will rise and could reach 10.1% in 2020 in the worst-case scenario, up from 7.2% currently. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Euro zone economy sinks; Spain’s daily deaths at lowest tally in nearly 6 weeks.

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